I Love my Subaru Outback. I bought it at an auto auction for $1250. due to the last owners beliefs about changing their oil I now have about $3000 all together in the vehicle including purchase price. I do my own labor as I'm slightly mechanically inclined and have a new rear sub frame, complete 3m undercoat to stop rust, and a new 85,000 miles used engine. The 2001 Subaru outback is exceptionally easy to work on by ANYONE. just buy the service manual at any auto parts store and you can do anything on your vehicle. All the sensors that do go bad are located on top of the engine block, easy. At 213k the tired old engine still pushed my outback to 122mph. The Subaru 2.5 has plenty of power.
I suppose that every car is different, some have problems, but my 2001 L.L. Bean Outback has been as good as it gets. Almost no repairs except routine maintenance which I observe religiously. Runs like new. I keep trying to persuade myself to get a new car but when I get in and drive it, I just don't see why. I bought it for $22,000 when it was one year old with 25,000 miles on it so someone really used it but didn't hurt it. Must have been a lease car. It is so well made; the fit and finish are outstanding. I'm afraid to buy a new car! Update with 215,000 miles. Still love the car but it's beginning to show its age. There was rust around the moon roofs that I spent $1,500 fixing and it's perfect...amazing. The rubber boots around the axels (something like that) had to be replaced twice, now, in the past 15 years. I think a motor mount is going to need replacement. The leather driver's seat has cracked and replacement material is not available. The motor is perfect and burns no oil, whatsoever. Still reluctant to get a new car.
I bought my outback with 73K on it, It now has 140K. It is our grocery getter child transporter. Does great in the snow. I can get about 26-28 mpg city/Hwy. It does leak oil, i fear may be the dreaded Subaru head gasket. Thought it went out about 5K ago but it was the water pump. Shop said heads were fine. Interior is nice I do have leather package but not the limited. good comfort for long trips. I would buy another with out question. Only other issues are some electrical in steering column that makes turn signal sound for no reason, cruise control stopped working and horn no longer works. Also have to replace 4 tires at a time due to AWD.
Bought this car new. Now have 118,000 miles and it needs its 3rd head gasket. First went at 36,000 miles, 2nd at 83,000 miles. In cold weather (10 degrees or less) gas lines at fuel pump condense, allowing fuel to vaporize into the engine compartment. Smells like you are riding in the gas tank. If I could have afforded to dump this car earlier I would have. Lots of other smaller problems. Seems to go through tires very quickly.